“Our home tells a story about us, so we may as well take the opportunity to make it a stylish one.” ~Deborah Needleman
Ever since we bought our condo just over two years ago, I’ve wanted to put in board and batten. We had beadboard in our entry and entry hallway at our previous house and I loved the way it looked. It really enhanced our entry. We had a couple of people we hired to do some work for us when we moved in and when I mentioned I wanted board and batten, either they quoted too high a price or one person said he didn’t think we had enough room in our entryway for one, but beadboard would look great. I wanted board and batten and not headboard in our new house.
This is our entry and I was told we didn’t have enough room by the door for it.
Even though it was a couple of years ago, I couldn’t get this out of my mind and I really wanted it. I did lots of checking on Pinterest and saw tons of tutorials about doing your own board and batten and I finally thought that Mr. Cottage and I could pull this off ourselves.
Once we got going on this project, Mr. Cottage kept saying the walls were fine as they are and I kept telling him how much he’ll love it after its finished. Keep in mind that we’re a bit older than many who have tackled this project. Mr. Cottage turned the big 70 on his last birthday, but neither of us sit around in rocking chairs all day.
Anyways, I got the idea that board and batten would really look great in our bedroom, too. You can see from the photo above, there’s a long wall as you walk into the room from the hallway and it looked really blah. I thought the board and batten would perk things up a bit.
Then I thought we would continue it around the corner and along the wall behind our headboard.
Every tutorial I read had so many different variations on how they did it, size and kinds of wood, techniques and the overall effect. So I took a bit of this and a bit of that from various sources. I did like the idea of using Furring Strips from Bless’er House . We first checked Home Depot because they’re only a few miles from us, but we didn’t like the quality. So after I checked Lowes, that’s where we decided to buy ours from.
Again, sizes can vary for whatever you want. For the horizontal boards we bought 1 x 4 x 8 and for the vertical battens we bought 1 x 3 x 8. I also decided to add a little ledge to the boards above our bed, so we bought 1 x 2 x 8 for those. The wood came to well under $100! You’re also going to need the following:
- Miter Saw
- Brad Nailer
- Brad Nails, 1 1/2 inches
- White, Paintable Caulking
- Fine Sandpaper
- Satin or Semi-Gloss Paint
- Painters Tape
The horizontal is pretty easy to measure and to calculate, but for the vertical battens several questions have to be addressed. How tall do you want them? How far apart do you want them? In the entryway, we already had a Pottery Barn shelf hanging above our bench and there was no changing that. So I knew we couldn’t go any higher than that. The bedroom was a different matter and had no restrictions for us to work around, so we went higher. This is just a personal preference for me, but I prefer the board and batten to be higher than midway from floor to ceiling. You can tell from the photo above that we placed the board almost to the shelf.
For the width, some tutorials said to put them in the studs, and I read where they were spaced anywhere from 9″ apart up to 24″ apart. I think a lot depends on the area and the size of boards you’re using. I chose 16 inches, but when I was in the bedroom, I ended up going 15 1/2 inches apart because I didn’t want it interfering with the outlets and switches. We were going to keep this as easy as could be.
Mr. Cottage and I discussed about the corners and whether to miter them or butt them together. We chose the easiest, which you can see from these photos.
I started by using a pencil and a level and literally drawing a horizontal line everywhere the board and batten was going to be. Then I went ahead and painted Benjamin Moore White Dove in Semi-Gloss below this line. You can see it in the bedroom photo above.
I decided to prime and paint the horizontal boards prior to them being nailed on the walls. Mr. Cottage took a 1 x 3 board and cut it exactly 16 inches long.
I started by placing a 3″ board where the first batten would go, then used the 16″ board to measure where the next batten would be. I marked the area with a pencil and then I used painters tape to indicate to Mr. Cottage where the battens will be going. It’s much easier to see the tape than to look for the light pencil markings.
Mr. Cottage used his miter saw for cutting and his nail gun to get all the boards in. I don’t have a photo in this posting to show the bottom of the boards, but we decided to cut them at a 45 degree angle so they would look better along the baseboards. I promise I’ll show you more photos of this in the final reveal.
After all the boards were nailed into place, the next fun part begins. Caulking! You don’t want to skip this. The photo above shows gaps between the wood and wall and you want these closed up.
This was the caulking I used. I used the kind that comes in a tube and you want to make sure it’s white and that you can paint it.
Spackling is used to cover the nail holes and any other imperfections in the wood. Again, you don’t want to skip this.
This photo shows after the caulking was completed. Much more professional. After caulking and spackling, smooth the sparkling with fine sandpaper and then prime all the wood, if you haven’t already done so. After priming, take a fine sandpaper and and go over all the wood to smooth everything, prior to painting.
I’m in the process of finishing things up now and I’ll show you what Mr. Cottage and I accomplished in a couple more days. It’s looking awesome!
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